Friday, October 9, 2015

What do you get when you run a pumpkin through a juicer?

Pumpkin Juice!!

I know, obvious, right...

Well, I'm writing this recipe post because pumpkin has so many wonderful health benefits and most of the time we use pumpkin in not-so-healthy foods (like pumpkin bread, muffins, pancakes, etc). Not to say that these foods should be avoided by any means (unless they are made with synthetic ingredients...)!  But, I was thinking (scary place to be btw!!) "what if I juiced the pumpkin and made a delicious elixir out of it?!"

Before we dive into the recipe, I'd like to share a few health facts about this magical fruit we see overflowing in cardboard boxes in front of stores everywhere!

Pumpkin is loaded with beta carotene and carotenoids (which is actually the stuff that gives the pumpkin that deep orange coloring!).  If you haven't studied food science or bio chemistry, you may not realize that beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in your body!  And we all know that vitamin A is great for vision and a healthy immune system; both of these are very good benefits especially for the up and coming winter months.

So here's what I did:
  • One medium-sized pumpkin, top cut off and seeds/pulp removed, and cut out some of the pumpkin flesh to juice
  • 1L fresh apple juice or cider
  • 4 T Wassail Mix, we got ours from our Honeymoon at Biltmore (or make your own…would you like a recipe video for that?)
  • 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks for garnish and extra warm and cozy cinnamon flavor
  1. Run your pumpkin through the juicer, small pieces at a time.  If you do not have a high-powered juicer or blender, you can skip this step and move on to step 2.
  2. Heat up your apple cider.  Make it very warm so it will hold its heat for awhile.
  3. Add the Wassail mix, adjusting the amount to your preference.  If you do not have wassail, throw a few cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and a star anise pod into the cider while it is heating.
  4. Add the pumpkin juice to the cider.
  5. Once the cider/pumpkin mixture is heated through, carefully pour the whole mixture into the pumpkin shell.  Add a couple cinnamon sticks for garnish and serve immediately.  If you do not finish the cider that night, be sure to transfer it to a glass container for proper storage.  Do not store it in the pumpkin, as it is not safe or sanitary.
This would be a great warm drink for a Wedding Shower, Halloween party, or as a companion to a good book.  Feel free to leave the actual pumpkin out of the recipe, and simply make a spiced cider with the remaining ingredients served in a pumpkin or other festive vessel.

What is your favorite warm fall drink?  Are you a cider kind of person? Maybe hot chocolate? Or all our pumpkin spice coffee??  Let me know in the comments!